How to Figure Out the Age of My Chameleon

Female veiled chameleons live about five years; males, about eight.
Female veiled chameleons live about five years; males, about eight. (Image: Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images)

A pet chameleon can provide hours of enjoyment. You may wonder about your new pet, including such things as how long you think this chameleon will be a part of your life. Chameleons generally live for three to eight years, depending on their gender and species. While there may be no way to know the age of your chameleon for sure, there are a few avenues you can pursue to determine its age.

Ask the person who sold you the chameleon. Most pet stores sell chameleons that are between three and eight weeks old, three weeks being very young. Breeders generally avoid selling a chameleon that is any younger than five to six weeks to anyone without extensive experience raising them.

Ask a reputable breeder. This is particularly useful if you bought the chameleon at a pet store and the salesperson is uncertain of the age. If you don't know of any breeders in your area, you can locate one using the search function on the Chameleons Online website.

Find out the species. The Jackson's chameleon, for example, is usually just over 1 inch long at birth with three small bumps on the head that eventually grow into horns after about four months, by which time their length has doubled in size. Their lifespan is about five years. The veiled chameleon is usually around 3 to 4 inches at birth and marked by a light green color, eventually growing to between 8 inches and a foot after a year with much brighter and more varied color patterns. Veiled chameleons live between five and eight years. These are the two most commonly sold species in the United States.

Jackson's chameleon
Jackson's chameleon (Image: Jupiterimages/ Images)

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